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Forensics—Cadaver’s best friend
Police searching for victims in clandestine graves could soon have a new tool that will make their task considerably easier. LABRADOR, which stands for Lightweight Analyzer for Buried Remains and Decomposition Odor Recognition, detects volatile organic chemical compounds relevant to human decomposition. "This is the next step in clandestine grave detection and will augment methods using dogs," said Arpad Vass, co-developer of the handheld instrument. While not as sensitive as a canine's nose, LABRADOR has the advantage of being able to detect and alert the operator to the amount of odor present, which is a key factor in pinpointing the location of a grave or looking for victims in natural disasters. Funding was provided by the National Institute of Justice. [Contact: Ron Walli; 865.576.0226; wallira@ornl.gov]